By: Kyle James | 10-06-2017 | News
Photo credit: Chaoss |

Japanese Woman Dies After Logging 159 Hours Overtime In A Month

The hard-line work culture of Japan is faced with the harsh reality of the consequences of so many hours spent working after the death of a 31-year-old journalist who logged 159 hours of overtime leading up to her death. Miwa Sado was working at the NHK broadcasting headquarters in Tokyo and only took two days off in the month leading up to her death.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Sado Family</span>

Sado died of heart failure in July of 2013 and her death has been attributed to karoshi (death from overwork) according to her case which was only just made public by her former employer this week. With the release of her death report, renewed pressure is expected to force Japanese authorities to address the large amount of deaths attributed to long work hours of many employees. The release of Sado's cause of death comes in the wake of a similar death of a young overworked employee last year named Matsuri Takahashi who worked at Dentsu advertising agency. Takahashi's death last year prompted a national debate over Japan's work culture that called for limits to overtime.

Labor standard officials ruled Takahashi's death to be caused by stress that was a result of extremely long work hours. In the weeks leading up to Takahashi's death, she posted on social media "I want to die" and "I'm physically and mentally shattered." The Japanese government proposes to set a cap on monthly overtime which would lock the amount of overtime hours that an employee can work at 100 hours. Companies who exceed the limit would face financial penalties for allowing workers to go over the 100 hour monthly overtime cap.

Sado's parents released a statement issued through NHK, "Even today, four years on, we cannot accept our daughter’s death as a reality. We hope that the sorrow of a bereaved family will not be wasted."

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